For the rest of Corey’s “In Search of a Legacy” series, you can find them here!
Greetings from the land of Legacy! We have a lot of things to talk about in the format currently and I am excited to discuss my thoughts about them with you today.
I have been playing a ton of games with this lately and I have some thoughts on the format as a whole. Reanimator strategies are relatively stable with their market share in the format currently with B/R Reanimator taking up the largest slot in this archetype. I think the B/R strategies are likely better suited in terms of raw power in execution of the combo, but I really like U/B’s small role in the format especially. Having access to hard counters like Force of Will, and conditional ones in Daze make many of the format kingpins feel a little easier to take on. Here are my thoughts on a few of those format all-star decks.
This matchup is very much a race to first combo with Storm being a little faster on average than we are. A turn 1 Empty the Warrens is extremely hard for many decks to combat, but with our inclusion of main deck Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, it makes this “mode” of storm manageable. Our counter magic is taxed in this matchup as they generally have 2-3 pivot points in which to adjust their approach. I like holding counter magic for things like Burning Wish, or Lion’s Eye Diamond. In sideboard games I am aggressively looking to mull to find a Flusterstorm in most cases. This matchup is very fun with huge swings in the games as they play out.
This matchup is rough. It used to be a lot harder, but I still don’t love my matchup here. I was sure Miracles would be left in the dust with the banning of Sensei’s Divining Top, but as we have seen in a majority of premier level events since the banning, the deck has slowed down but is not to be counted out. My favorite reanimate target is Iona, Shield of Emeria in this matchup naming blue. This seriously taxes the deck and slows them down to a snail’s pace. The only white spells the deck has access to without being able to cast a blue spell are: Monastery Mentor, Path to Exile, Council’s Judgement, and Terminus, this is roughly 11 spells in the main deck and up to 17 in the sideboard games where Disenchant, and Rest in Peace come in. That being said, the deck is very good at finding these spells and you need to quickly resolve a Emeria in order to get under their lock. A Monastery Mentor with only 13 or so spells to trigger it is relatively east to deal with. Sideboard games I feel like I am a large underdog as they bring in Rest in Peace, Council’s Judgement and Surgical Extraction. I like to mull aggressively to a turn 1-2 reanimate rather than play the long game if I can here.
I have very little success with this matchup. They main deck Bojuka Bog and can get it at instant speed, so the deck really needs to operate on a turn 1 Reanimate with counter magic back up for some of the random nonsense the deck is capable of. This is the deck I am most interested in main deck Gitaxian Probe, as I spoke about in my last article. The more popular this deck becomes the more I am interested in having an edict effect in the sideboard.
This brings us to the last archetype I feel is most important to be aware of, Delver (Grixis). Yes there are a few different delver builds technically. But let’s face it, Legacy belongs to an Elf. Deathrite Shaman is the most ridiculous card I have ever read. I honestly don’t know how it made it out of testing. I do not hate the card, as many in the scene do. But I do respect how frustratingly hard it is to play against. The Legacy format is divided into two camps currently; play Deathrite Shaman, or have a way to beat it the turn it’s played. Any other path you take in the format is wrong right now and I honestly think if anyone is serious about spiking a large tournament right now they need to be playing Grixis Delver. This deck is efficient almost to the point of perfection and it is made possible by Deathrite Shaman. The card does everything by itself nearly.
Playing against this matchup with our deck is largely based around taking care of a resolved Deathrite Shaman and baiting their counters. I like this matchup a lot and it feels like a cat and mouse game for much of the matchup. A resolved Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is super oppressive to the deck as their entire game plan aside from Gurmag Angler and Jace, the Mind Sculptor resolves around x/2 and x/1s. Bring in Abrupt Decays, Echoing Truth and fade their Surgical Extraction and this matchup is relatively even.
I hope everyone has enjoyed this article and my journey through Legacy. I would like to thank Legitmtg for hosting the article and Desert Keep Games for their incredible deals on cards to help me on my journey. Until next time, may your Shamans have Death rites.
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